XTC Dive Center is located in the small fishing village of Xcalak (pop 400) - the southernmost town on the Mexican Caribbean coast, on the border with Belize and within the Xcalak Reef National Marine Park. Xcalak is at the center of the Great Maya Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Scuba Diving around Xcalak offers incredible diversity. There are deep walls, shallow walls, unique geographical formations, vast canyons between spur and groove reef systems, swim-throughs, caverns, and an exotic array of Caribbean marine reef creatures.
XTC’s full service dive center offers PADI diving instruction—everything from Bubblemakers to Divemaster; PADI Tec Rec training through to Trimix and all levels in between. Xcalak offers dozens of fantastic scuba dive sites between 5-30 minutes by boat from the Xcalak To Chinchorro Dive Center dock. We have deep and shallow walls, huge tongue and groove formations, “pozas” (blue holes), swim-throughs, and much more. You might have heard of “La Poza” (also known as “The Tarpon Hole”, the only formation of its type in the whole Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System); or “La Chimenea.” The deep walls (Hob Na, Punta Gavilan) in the north end of the park are ideal for deep technical dives, with the advantage that you can swim up from any depth to 10 ft without ever leaving the reef; with 250ft tall walls filled with huge black coral colonies and massive fluorescent sponges.
Additionally, we have access to the Chinchorro Bank Biosphere Reserve, the largest and oldest reef on the northern hemisphere. This highly protected Marine Sanctuary is a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation not only because of its amazing reef ecosystem but also its rich shipwreck history. Diving Banco Chinchorro, is on most seasoned divers´ shortlist. It has earned a reputation as one of the last unspoiled dive destinations this side of the world, and certainly in the Caribbean. It benefits from being both remote, inaccessible and with access requiring special permits from the Mexican Federal Government.
Banco Chinchorro lies 36 nautical miles of open ocean from Xcalak, making it a challenge to go to Chinchorro on most days, the summer months being the most suitable for the journey. There are three small keys, Cayo Norte, Cayo Centro, and Cayo Lobos – ranging from less than one square km. to 5 sq. kms, however, there are no permanent settlements. There is a Ranger station on Cayo Centro that we can visit if time permits where one can visit crocodile-filled lagoons, admire endemic giant iguanas and hike trails specially designed for environmental interpretation. The water inside the lagoon is 3 to 5 meters deep (10 to 15 feet); beyond the outer reef lie a variety of dive sites from 10 to 40 meters in depth (30 to 130 feet). It is the perfect place for divers and snorkellers alike as most sites are along walls that offer shallow enough water for the snorkeller and plenty of depth for the diver. Diving on the Chinchorro reef you will find a large variety of coral species, including black coral at unusually shallow depths and many other species of soft coral that are found sporadically and in small quantities on the Great Maya Reef that are vibrant and abundant in Chinchorro. All kind of tropical fish, rays, eels, conch and giant sponges.
For non-divers, the bay in front of the dive shop is an incredible 25 kms. long and almost a kilometer wide, extending all the way to Ambergris Key in Belize. Besides the wonderful diving, the snorkelling here is the best along the coastline of Quintana Roo. You can get in the water right off the end of the 260-foot dock or take a boat trip to other locations along the bay.
Xcalak has long been a favourite destination for fly-fishing. Long before the new paved highway, fishermen made the 3-hour trek from Mahajual just to fish the pristine flats that surround this area. Year round, we catch and release bonefish, tarpon, permit, and more. XTC boat captains are experienced fly-fishing guides and will be happy to take you to the best locations in one of our 25-foot panga boats.
XTC Dive Center also runs a small hotel - Flying Cloud - on the same property as the dive center. All rooms are right on the beach and are perfectly located for the beautiful sunrises. Coral Bar & Grill is open from 7am - 9pm for food everyday and later for drinks. There is a fully stocked bar and wine cellar featuring favourite cocktails as well as premium wines & spirits.
Eat and Drink
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See and Do
- XTC Dive Center Xcalak (0.0 miles) - XTC Dive Center is located in the small fishing village of Xcalak (pop 400) - the southernmost town ...